Our owners and management team are experienced professionals who lead with care and compassion.

compass resting on rock face in sunlight


Our owners and management team are experienced professionals who lead with care and compassion.


Meet Our Owners

headshot of Hal Baumchen

Hal Baumchen | PSYD, LP, LADC

President, Clinical Director, and Co-Occurring Disorders Specialist

Dr. Hal Baumchen is a psychologist, author, and speaker. He is the President and Clinical Director of NorthStar Regional. A Licensed Clinical Psychologist (LP) with over 30 years (30,000+ hours) of counseling experience, he was also the founder and executive director of Northland Counseling Services. He received his master’s Degree from Wheaton Graduate School and his Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD) from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, and is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor (LADC) and received his certificate in Co-Occurring Disorders from Adler Graduate School. He is the author of Journeys, a co-occurring disorders resource manual, Destinations, a practical guide for overcoming addictions and improving your mental health, the Destinations Companion Workbook, and he coauthored Finding Hope Again: Overcoming Depression with Dr. Neil T. Anderson. He is the author and founder of Journey to Recovery, a resource site with materials for the treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
headshot of Jason Vanderscoff

Jason Vanderscoff | LADC

Chief Executive Officer

Jason is the CEO of NorthStar Regional and was formerly the CEO of Five Stars Recovery Center. He is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). His responsibilities include overall strategy, program development, financial oversight and provider contracting. Jason has also served as the CEO of CD Recovery Services, DRS Acquisitions, and Cx Technology Services. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.


Meet Our Executive Team


Tim Walsh | M.A., L.P. DPA

Chief of Behavioral Health Strategies and Solutions

Tim Walsh is the NorthStar Regional Chief of Behavioral Health Strategies and Solutions. He completed his doctorate in public administration at Hamline University in 2012. He received his Master of Arts degree in counseling psychology from St. Thomas University in 1993. Tim earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with double majors in Social Sciences/Psychology and Biblical Studies from the University of Northwestern, St. Paul. 

Tim has been licensed as a psychologist since 1998. He also has over 28 years of experience as an administrator in the fields of behavioral health, human services, and corrections. He is a former executive leader with Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge. Tim’s heart is to have a significant, positive impact on people, in their journey to life recovery and transformation.

John McGinnis

John McGinnis | LADC

Chief Operating Officer

John has worked in the health care field for thirty years, twenty-seven of those years have been spent in the CD field. He has held several roles in the field of Chemical Dependency and MICD. He has gained a wealth of experience working with adolescents and adults at NorthStar Regional, Five Stars Recovery and other institutions in the state of Minnesota.

John has been a leading force in the quality of our client care. Client care and the client experience in treatment have long been John’s passion. As COO, his goal is to bring his experience, knowledge and leadership experience to all NorthStar Regional Programs and Corporate Operations.

Jonathan Holt

Chief Marketing Officer

Jonathan Holt is the Chief Marketing Officer at NorthStar Regional. His experience includes over 30 years of marketing, communications, and operations experience in both traditional and digital marketing. He was previously the Director of Marketing at ESCO, before that he oversaw international marketing operations at Starkey Hearing Technologies. Jonathan holds a degree in Advertising from Collins College in Tempe, Arizona.

Lea Atkinson | MA, LADC, LPCC

Chief of Programs and Services

Lea Atkinson is NorthStar Regional’s Chief of Programs and Services. As a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), Lea has numerous years of experience working in diverse environments and has been involved in both mental health and co-occurring programs.

Throughout her career, she has kept client-centered care as her focus and leads with compassion and empathy. Lea is a graduate of St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis.


Meet Our Director Team

Riko Armstrong

Compliance Officer

He attended Northern Colorado University and earned a BA in Journalism and Sociology. After undergrad, he joined the US Navy and obtained a master’s degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Fraud Management from Colorado State University. As a Navy Veteran with a decade of experience in the compliance field. He did two deployments to the Persian Gulf, a special assignment in the Naval Recruiting District, and a tour in Bahrain. Additionally, he was a career counselor, mentorship coordinator, security officer, and suicide prevention, coordinator. He has earned a certificate in Leadership in Professional Ethics and Compliance. He is a former Compliance Director at MNTC. He has a passion for helping people and is currently working on becoming a licensed mental health professional.

Sarah Brown

Director of Admissions

Sarah is an accomplished leader with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s in Business Administration from Augsburg University. She established her background in management and team coordination for years at Fraser. Developing from her experience there, she rooted herself in the mission of NorthStar Regional. Her leadership of NorthStar Regional’s Admissions Department has ignited tremendous growth in both administrative and supportive aspects. Sarah’s guidance and enthusiasm encourage the team to tackle new goals with excitement and cooperation. 

Open Position

Maple Grove & Chanhassen Program Director

Coming Soon.

Jessica Hart | LADC

Women’s Residential Program Director

Jessica Hart is the director of NorthStar Regional’s Women’s Residential Treatment Center in Chaska, MN. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of Argosy University, she began working in the recovery field as a technician with Pride Institute in 2014, and has also served at The Haven in Shakopee, MN, at NSR’s Chanhassen Co-occurring Disorder program and at our Sugar Creek campus. She believes in fostering a supportive environment to help clients feel safe in order to build a good therapeutic alliance.

Jeanine Jackson

Director of Human Resources

Jeanine graduated from Metropolitan State University with a Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) in 2019, her undergraduate focus was Human Resource Management. She has over 11 years of experience in HR and compliance in the nonprofit sector, tribal/government sector. She is an Adjunct Professor/Community Faculty at Metro State where she teaches ‘Contemporary Native American Issues for Nonprofits and Government’. Her published work can be found in the Journal of Nonprofit and Public Affairs. She has a passion for and background in the recovery, mental health, SUDS community and sits on the Association of Recovery Schools board. 

Jeanine has collaborated with the University of Chicago Chapin Hall in Washington DC on a national strategy to end homelessness, and was a presenter at the National Alliance to End Homelessness 2021. She has presented her research, taught, and designed coursework in many other capacities. She is an enrolled member of Lac Du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians her tribes are Ojibwe (enrolled), Potawatomi, and Cree descendent.

Rafael Lewis | LADC

Men’s Shakopee Residential Program Director

Rafael is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). Currently enrolled in the M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services program at Saint Mary’s University in Minneapolis to pursue a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). He is a proud husband and father too.

Rafael’s primary focus is Client services. He strives to ensure that individuals have a smooth experience and take advantage of NSR’s full suite of programs and services. Passionate about recovery, mental and physical health, and improving overall well-being.

Amy VanHouten | ADC-T

Men’s Riverwood Residential Program Director

Amy is an accomplished individual who graduated with High Honors from MCTC in May 2022, specializing in Addiction Counseling and Psychology. Currently, Amy is pursuing a double major at Metropolitan State. Amy gained valuable experience through internships at NorthStar Regional’s Maple Grove IOP facility and NSR’s Otsego (Riverwood) facility. Her involvement in various NSR programs at the IOP and residential stages of our continuum of care, allowed her to witness growth on a personal level before advancing to the role of Residential Program Director.

 Amy’s proficiency in managing employees and ensuring compliance with DHS policies and procedures showcases her exceptional organizational abilities. She is devout to her field and is an absolute driving force behind the NSR programming at Riverwood.

Madilyn Myers | MA, LPCC, LADC

Men’s Riverwood IOP w/Lodging Program Director

Madilyn Myers is NorthStar Regional’s Program Director for our Otsego location. As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC),  Madilyn has experience working with clients to build their insight on mental health and its impact on their addiction. 

Throughout her career, she has kept client-centered care as a focus, working with clients to identify their strengths, increase resilience, and motivate clients to overcome their roadblocks in life. Madilyn is a graduate from the University of South Dakota with an undergraduate degree in psychology and communications, and a masters degree in clinical mental health counseling. 

Neal Schmidt | BS, LADC

Chaska “Sugar Creek Campus” IOP Program Director

Neal Schmidt is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) since 2012, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies from Minnesota State University – Mankato. He has proudly been with NorthStar Regional since 2018, becoming Program Director in 2023. He places client care as a top priority to ensure a positive treatment experience, contributing toward rebuilding and maintaining healthy lives during and after treatment.

Emily Kruse | BSN, RN

Director of Nursing

Emily is a seasoned healthcare professional who has taken on the responsibility of managing the nursing departments across all NSR facilities. Prior to joining NSR, she garnered extensive expertise working in diverse healthcare settings, including a TCU, Urgent Care, and most recently as an ER nurse at M Health Fairview. Emily’s passion for serving others initially led her to a career as a 911 Dispatcher for Scott County, where she dedicated 15 years to ensuring the safety and well-being of the community.

Equipped with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a range of specialty certifications, including Trauma nursing (TNCC), Emergency Pediatric Care (ENPC), and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Emily’s commitment to excellence and ongoing professional development shines through in her work. Her diverse background and comprehensive skill set enable her to lead with confidence and proficiency in delivering exceptional patient care.